Ronaldinho scored two second-half goals yesterday to lead Brazil to a 5-0 rout over New Zealand and a spot in the quarter-finals of the Olympic soccer tournament.
Ronaldinho netted his first goal of the tournament with a free kick in the 54th minute, and added another with a penalty kick in the 61st. The two-time FIFA Player of the Year hadn’t scored for Brazil in an official competition in nearly a year.
Anderson opened the scoring less than three minutes into the match. Alexandre Pato scored in the 34th and Rafael Sobis added another goal in second-half injury time to keep Brazil on track for its first gold medal in soccer.
Nigeria 2, Japan 1
Victor Obinna scored one goal and set up another to lead Nigeria to a 2-1 victory over Japan yesterday, bolstering the Africans’ claim for a place in the men’s Olympic quarter-finals.
Obinna found the net in the 58th minute and set up Victor Anichebe to score on another counterattack in the 74th as Japan’s defense was exposed on each flank.
Second-half substitute Yohei Toyoda scored for Japan in the 79th and his team continued to create chances, but heavy rain from a thunderstorm for the final 10 minutes of the match hampered its chances.
Cameroon 1, Honduras 0
Midfielder Stephane Mbia scored in the second half yesterday to lift Cameroon to a 1-0 victory over Honduras.
Mbia collected the ball 25m out in the 74th minute and hit a low right-footed drive past the outstretched arms of Honduras goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez and inside the left post.
Belgium 2, China 0
Strikers Moussa Dembele and Kevin Mirallas scored a goal each to give Belgium a 2-0 win over nine-man China yesterday, putting the hosts in a difficult position to advance.
Dembele opened the scoring in the eighth minute, escaping from three defenders inside the area before firing a low left-footer past China goalkeeper Qiu Shengjiong.
Mirallas sealed the win with a shot from the top of the area in the 80th minute when China was already playing two man down.
Defender Tan Wangsong was red-carded in the 52nd for a vicious foul and midfielder Zheng Zhi in the 63rd for elbowing an opponent.
Argentina 1, Australia 0
Ezequiel Lavezzi ended Australia’s stubborn resistance and led Argentina to a 1-0 victory yesterday to put his team into the quarter-finals.
After Lionel Messi had missed three chances, Lavezzi ended a well-worked move to score a 78th-minute goal to give Argentina six points from two games.
Italy 3, South Korea 0
Italy secured a spot in the quarter-finals yesterday, beating South Korea 3-0 on goals from Giuseppe Rossi, Tommaso Rocchi and Riccardo Montolivo.
The Italians dominated a tough South Korea side that was undefeated in Olympic qualifying.
Rossi scored in the 15th, pouncing on the deflection of a shot from Rocchi and slotting a left-footed strike past South Korea goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong from 10m.
Rocchi doubled the lead in the 32nd when he knocked in a cross from defender Marco Motta, while Montolivo finished off the scoring with an injury-time goal.
Ivory Coast 4, Serbia 2
Ivory Coast beat Serbia 4-2 yesterday to revive their chances of reaching the quarter-finals.
Sekou Cisse gave the Ivorians a third minute lead at the Shanghai Olympic Stadium, and although Milan Mrdakovic equalized in the 16th minute, Serb defender Slobodan Rajkovic headed the ball into his own net in the 24th and Salomon Kalou added a third goal in the 69th.